Johani Mamid has filmed crocodiles in the past, but his most recent trip to the Crocodile Park in Broome, Western Australia almost ended up in disaster. While he’s a trained crocodile feeder, this reaction by one of the giant crocodiles was a surprise, as it leapt up to attack his drone. Fortunately, it was able to be flown away in time, just before the animal grabbed ahold of the drone, although plans may need to be changed in the future. Read more for the video and additional information.
Remember the jetpack guy from a few months ago? If so, the mystery could have just been solved, and it’s a lot stranger than you think. Apparently, this is not a real human at all, just a remote-controlled mannequin shaped like a real human built by Ralph Kayser. It features a duocopter design with KK 2.15 flightboard, powered by two 250Kv engines that draw power from a 10S 3000mAh Lipo battery. Read more for the videos and additional information.
We have seen the future of tractors, and it’s the STEYR Konzept. Unlike other tractors, this one takes a serial hybrid approach whereby a compact 4.5-liter 4-cylinder unit, works at optimal speed as an energy generator, charging batteries. Why is that significant? Well, the engine is disconnected from the wheels, and traction is provided by four independent electric motors directly installed in the wheel hubs. Read more for two videos, additional pictures and information.
We have seen the future of urban transportation, and it includes Cadillac’s new single-seat VTOL drone. In addition to being able to vertical takeoff and landing, this aircraft is fully autonomous drone and perfect for ride sharing direct from rooftops if necessary. Power comes from a 90-kWh battery, while it uses four sets of two rotors for propulsion, enabling it to hit a top speed of 56 mph. One unusual feature is having the front and rear sets of rotors at different heights, possibly for more efficient flight. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
For the past several years, drones have been a big part of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Even though this year’s event is all-digital, the Sony Airpeak is one of the highlights. To fully support the creativity of video creators, the payload of the Airpeak can be equipped with an Alpha mirrorless camera, enabling creators to capture high quality, full frame aerial photography and video. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: Lim Huey Teng | Reuters
A team of researchers from Malaysia have figured out how to turn the fiber found in discarded pineapple leaves into a rigid material that can be used to manufacture frames for drones. These unmanned aircraft made from bio-composite material were found to have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than those made from synthetic fibers, while also being much more cost efficient. The result is a drone with a lighter frame that is easier to dispose of, as damaged units can just be buried in the ground and have it degrade within 2-weeks. Read more for a video and additional information.
Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have successfully completed the first high-speed taxi test of the unmanned Loyal Wingman drone in preparation for first flight. Crews monitored the aircraft’s performance and instrumentation from a ground control station to verify the functionality while the vehicle reached accelerated speeds. This uncrewed aircraft is currently undergoing low-, medium-, and high-speed taxi testing at a remote test location in Australia. Read more for the video and additional information.
Blue Sky Rescue, a volunteer group that conducts search and rescue and other emergency work, teamed up with villagers in Zhong county near the city of Chongqing, to convert a drone into a flying flamethrower to burn down over 100 wasp nests. In all, they raised $12,200 to purchase the drone, equip it with a gasoline tank and then an arm-length nozzle. This most definitely is a commercial grade flying machine that you probably won’t easily find online. Read more for a video of it in-action and additional information.
Photo credit: Reuben Wu via PetaPixel
Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu specializes in using drones to illuminate natural landscape photos, and his latest project, Light Storm, follows up on his previous projects. For this set, he visited rocky landscapes in Utah and New Mexico, while using precision piloted drones to create halo lighting of sorts. Whether it be geometric shapes or just the lighting itself, the drones serve many purposes to create a mood. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Aevum has revealed the Ravn X Autonomous Launch Vehicle today, which is currently the world’s largest Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), by mass, at 55,000-pounds. It’s designed to deliver satellites to space as fast as every 180 minutes in collaboration with The United States Space Force. Unlike ground or air launches, this unmanned craft utilizes a global, fully-autonomous, self-flying, self-managing, self-operating intelligent system of systems, called the autonomous launch architecture, working in concert to deliver payloads from any terrestrial origin to any space destination in low Earth orbit. Read more for a video and additional information.